Google Consent Mode vs Google Additional Consent

Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent both let you protect user privacy and gather important marketing data, so it's easy to confuse these two different tools. By analyzing visitors' online behavior, you can create personalized, targeted ads and marketing initiatives. However, Europe's passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 changed the rules about collecting and sharing this type of information. Companies now need to get user consent to gather and share their data.

By implementing tools like Google Consent Mode and Additional Consent, you can protect user privacy without compromising the efficacy of your marketing programs. In this guide, explore the differences between Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent and find out how to effectively incorporate these settings for your business site.

What Is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode is an online setting to guide the user consent process, which requires three steps:

  1. Find out if the user gives your site consent to gather and store their behavior data.
  2. Send these consent preferences to Google.
  3. Make sure data tags on your website or app follow the user's consent choices.

Consent Mode works in conjunction with a Consent Management Platform, or CMP. This software program manages user consent data for your website.

How Does Google Consent Mode Work?

Google Consent Mode works by requesting user consent through a consent banner. When users open your website or app, Consent Mode will load a consent banner that asks whether your site can store and transmit data about their activities and behavior while visiting. You can use a banner provided by your CPM. The user enters their preferences by clicking the buttons on the consent banner.

The banner records and stores the user's consent preferences, commonly called consent states. It also transmits the consent state information to Google. This process ensures that the site's tags behave in accordance with the user's consent state across Google platforms. Tags are small sections of website code that collect and send visitor data.

Google designed Consent Mode so services such as Analytics and Ads can collect detailed analytics without violating the terms of the GDPR and other online privacy regulations. GDPR specifically applies to website users from the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), and gives these individuals the right to object to use of their personal data.

The GDPR defines personal data as anything that can identify the user, such as web cookies, biometric data, name, email address, physical address or IP address. It also prohibits the collection of general personal info without consent, including details about ethnicity, political affiliation, religion and gender.

What Are the Types of Google Consent Mode?

Google has established two types of Consent Mode, basic and advanced. Both use tags to adjust the behavior of your site or app for different consent states, but they have slightly different workflows.

Basic Consent Mode

In Consent Mode's basic form, Google tags load only when a user clicks on a consent banner to give consent. If this occurs, the Consent Mode API sends the user's consent state to Google.

If the user doesn't consent, your site won't load the tags to gather user behavior. Google will receive details about the consent state to control the behavior of the tags. In this case, Consent Mode will also send pings, or signals, when this visitor loads a webpage or a conversion occurs. They include timestamps and referrals, but not identifiable user information.

With this framework, Consent Mode helps you fill in the blanks when a user doesn't provide consent. The conversion modeling feature uses predictive analytics to provide accurate performance measures based on how a visitor would likely interact with your site.

Advanced Consent Mode

With advanced Consent Mode, Google tags load right away when a user opens the site. The APIs set a default consent state. This state remains in effect until the user clicks on the consent banner and makes a selection.

If the user gives consent, the tags will send the complete behavior data to Google. While basic consent uses a general model, the advanced version improves data-gathering with an advertiser-specific model.

What Are the Types of Consent?

Consent Mode recognizes seven different types of consent, including:

  • ad_personalization, which lets you give users personalized ads on your site or app
  • ad_storage, which lets you store ad-related data for the user
  • ad_user_data, which lets you send the user data you collect to Google for targeted ads
  • analytics_storage, which lets you store user behavior information such as length of site visit
  • functionality_storage, which lets you store settings for viewer preferences like language
  • personalization_storage, which allows you to store data to customize site content for the user
  • security_storage, which allows data storage for user protection measures like fraud prevention and authentication

Each of these tags controls a different aspect of how your website or app gathers and uses visitor data.

What Information Can You Gather With Consent Mode?

When users provide tracking consent with Consent Mode, you can gather information about diverse variables such as:

  • The type of tech the person used to access your site, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • The IP address, which can reveal user location
  • How the person found your website, whether they clicked a link in search results, an ad or a link from another site
  • The number of times the person clicks on various spots on your site, known as the click rate
  • The number of times the person visits various pages on your website (traffic)

You can also capture details the user enters voluntarily in your website or app, like email address, physical address or credit card information.

Who Should Use Google Consent Mode?

Anyone who owns a website or app and uses programs like Google Ads and Google Analytics for targeted marketing should use Google Consent Mode. Google required websites that gather information about and/or serve ads to EEA and EU visitors to have Consent Mode in place by March 2023. This requirement is part of the company's EU User Consent Policy.

If you don't have Consent Mode in place, Google won't send you data for web users from EU and EEA. As a result, you'll miss out on a valuable source of marketing insight and ad revenue. Google can also suspend or terminate your use of its products if your site doesn't follow its consent policy.

How Do You Implement Consent Mode?

You need to add the appropriate script to your website code to implement Consent Mode. You can do this through Google Tag Manager, rely on tools provided by your CMP or add the necessary code to the back end of your website by hand.

You'll also need a consent banner for your website, which you can obtain from your CMP. Google Tag Manager also provides compliant banners you can use in the Community Template Gallery. When you access the gallery, get started by searching for "consent."

When you find a banner that meets your needs, you can begin using it on your site by clicking the "Add to Workspace" button.

You can also build and use your own consent banner as long as it meets Google's technical specs for this feature.

What is Google Additional Consent?

Google Additional Consent is a technical specification you can use alongside IAB Europe's Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v2 to give users even more privacy protection. It is often confused with Google Consent Mode, but they are two different tools. If your CMP uses TCF to gather and transmit user data, you can incorporate Additional Consent rather than Consent Mode.

Additional Consent lets you gather and send consent states and user data to ad technology providers (ATPs) who aren't on the IAB Europe Global Vendor List (GVL). By collecting and sharing consent information with an expanded audience of ATPs, you can potentially increase your ad revenue while exposing your business to new markets.

How Does Google Additional Consent Work?

Additional Consent works by using a line of code called the Additional Consent string to store consent data for Google ATPs. It includes the version number for the technical spec, ID numbers for consented ATPs and ID numbers for disclosed ATPs.

Your CMP will add this to your website or app along with the TC string, which implements TCF v2. Putting these codes in place lets you deliver targeted ads to users from the EEA and EU while respecting their consent states.

Who Should Use Google Additional Consent?

You should use Google Additional Consent if you have online users from the EEA or EU and plan to gather and transmit data about these users to Google and/or other ATPs with Google Ad Manager, AdMob or AdSense. You need to have TCF v2 in place to successfully implement Additional Consent.

Without the appropriate consent framework, your site will either come up as ad-free or show non-targeted ads to EU and EEA users. As a result, you could lose out on valuable conversions and marketing opportunities.

What are the Similarities Between Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent?

Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent share several fundamental similarities. Both serve as important marketing tools to personalize ads and content for EU and EEA users. At the same time, both systems help you comply with European privacy laws by using consent banners.

These programs also have operational similarities. You can implement both Consent Mode and Additional Consent with a Google-certified CMP. Both programs transmit Google tags to third-party service providers with user consent data rather than using the older method of online cookies.

Both Consent Mode and Additional Consent support first-party and third-party tracking. First-party tracking describes your data-gathering efforts as the publisher of the website or app. Third-party tracking covers advertising tags on your site from Google and other ATPs.

You'll also derive similar benefits from using either Consent Mode or Additional Consent. Consent management ensures your visitors that you'll protect their data, which can increase trust in your brand.

At the same time, these programs maintain access to key marketing information that lets you tailor your online presence to your users. An effective tracking program provides valuable benchmarking information so you can see what works and what doesn't in terms of marketing to your audience. It can also help you identify issues with your website or app that affect traffic and engagement.

What are the Differences Between Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent?

Although these systems have similar goals, they operate differently. Google Consent Mode protects user privacy while giving you comprehensive analysis through intelligent data mapping. Additional Consent doesn't include this type of mapping function.

Google Additional Consent allows ATPs to receive consent details from your site users. It operates in conjunction with the TCF v2, which is a voluntary privacy framework. Consent Mode drives compliance with the DIgital Markets Act, so it's required for sites that collect user information.

Finally, Consent Mode and Additional Consent impact different Google programs. Consent Mode affects your business if you use Google Analytics 4, Google Ads or Floodlight tags. Additional Consent is relevant if your company uses Google Ad Manager, AdMob or AdSense.


Google Consent Mode and Google Additional Consent share a common purpose and many similarities. Both systems allow you to protect the privacy of your website visitors without sacrificing access to valuable marketing data.

However, Consent Mode and Additional Consent work with different Google programs and apps. In addition, while Consent Mode supports legal compliance with the GDPR, Additional Consent supports the voluntary TCF v2 framework. Reviewing your marketing plan through the lens of user consent can help you select the right system for your business.